Hi Alice! Here’s my marbles story.
Playing marbles was a spring thing. We couldn’t wait for dry ground to play big ring, little ring, cigar, chase, or lag. We played every day then poof it ended and you stashed your marbles until next spring.
Marbles measured a boy’s wealth. The more marbles, the richer you were. Each season, I soon grew poor: We played for keeps—the winner took all the marbles—and I was not a sharpshooter. But one spring, a fire in a newsstand made me the richest kid in school.
Now the only thing worth more than a marble was a tattoo, a small square of paper with a picture of an Indian chief, cowboy, ship, or lady in a bathing suit. You licked your arm, pressed the tattoo over the wet spot, and wore the picture all day. A tattoo cost one penny or one marble.
The newsstand on fire sold tattoo books—hundreds per book. The firemen sprayed everything, including the tattoo books. Some books we’re just damp, but the man threw them all away even though the tattoos were OK. My policeman father was checking on the fire. He saw the damp tattoo books and brought them home for me. I took a book to school the next day and came home with my pockets bulging. All my classmates wanted tattoos and were glad to trade for marbles.
At home, I dumped the treasure in my coaster wagon to admire it and a strange thing happened. I was the richest kid in school, but what do you do with books of tattoos and hundreds of marbles? I discovered marbles make fine ammunition for my slingshot.
Next time, my Deeps story. I love you.